Women, Philosophy and Literature  book cover
1st Edition

Women, Philosophy and Literature

ISBN 9781138272514
Published March 29, 2017 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

New work on women thinkers often makes the point that philosophical conceptual thought is where we find it, examples such as Simone de Beauvoir and the nineteenth century Black American writer Anna Julia Cooper assure us that there is ample room for the development of philosophy in literary works but as yet there has been no single unifying attempt to trace such projects among a variety of women novelists. This book articulates philosophical concerns in the work of five well known twentieth century women writers, including writers of color. Duran traces the development of philosophical themes - ontological, ethical and feminist - in the writings of Margaret Drabble, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Toni Cade Bambara and Elena Poniatowska presenting both a general overview of the author's work with an emphasis on traditional philosophical questions and a detailed feminist reading of the work.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I The View: Introduction. Part II The Europeans: Magaret Drabble and philosophy; The feminist Drabble; Woolf, metaphysics and life; The body à la Woolf; Beauvoir's philosophy and literature; Écriture and the other. Part III The New World: Toni Cade Bambara and the black vision; Afrocentric womanism; El mundo de Poniatowska; Las mujeres de Mexico. Part IV Closings: Wrapping it up; Index.

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Jane Duran is Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara, California, USA.


'Jane Duran’s stimulating book uniquely brings together five women authors simultaneously through the lenses of philosophy, feminism and literature. Her book problematizes the ancient struggle between philosophy and literature through a contemporary, feminist philosophical reading of these authors. Duran’s book thus reads against the grain of both contemporary literary theory and philosophical accounts of literature. In addition to these provocations, Duran brings together two women of color, Toni Cade Bambara and Elena Piniatowski, along with feminist standbys Woolf and Beauvoir, and the less often philosophically read author, Margaret Drabble. In doing so, she provides a productive interrogation of standard feminist readings of literary philosophers. The result will be of interest to philosophers, feminists, and literary theorists.' Ann E. Cudd, University of Kansas, USA.